Volcanic ash from Italy’s Mt. Etna interrupts flights

Rome, April 2 (IANS) The airport in the city of Cataniain Italy’s Sicily region stopped all flights for several hours due to strong volcanic activity from Mount Etna.

A thick smoke column about 9 km high was visible above the volcano on Thursday after an eruption at its south-eastern crater, dpa news agency quoted the ANSA media outlet as saying in a report.

The airport said in the morning it was continuing to function but take-offs and landings had been paused for now, according to ANSA.

Operations were restarted in the afternoon.

The National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology earlier issued a warning for the airspace near Etna.

It is not uncommon for Catania’s airport to pause its activities, as Etna repeatedly spews smoke, ash and lava.

Since February, the 3,300-metre-tall mountain has erupted 17 times, according to reports.

Mount Etna is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and is in an almost constant state of activity.

In June 2013, it was added to the list of Unesco World Heritage Sites.

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